Two nights ago, Matt Berninger performed at the star-studded Tibet House benefit alongside the likes of Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Phoebe Bridgers, actress Sandra Oh, and more. Onstage at Carnegie Hall, the National frontman reportedly covered “Holes,” a highlight from Mercury Rev’s underground classic Deserter’s Songs. I’ve been fruitlessly trying to find video of the performance, so I’m pleased to learn that a studio version of the cover is out now.
Berninger is releasing his “Holes” cover via the 7-inches For Planned Parenthood series. The B-side features former Barack Obama attorney Neil Katyal’s spoken-word piece “A Reproductive Rights Call To Action” set to a score by Sean O’Brien. The single is seeing release ahead of the Supreme Court’s March 4 oral arguments in the abortion-related case June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo.
“Holes” was produced by Booker T. Jones, who helmed Berninger’s upcoming solo debut album Serpentine Prison, and it features further contributions from Gail Ann Dorsey, Mickey Raphael, the Walkmen’s Walter Martin and Matt Barrick, Sean O’Brien, Harrison Whitford, Ben Lanz, and Kyle Resnick. It rules, as does the other big cover track Berninger sang on this week, the National’s version of INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart.”
In a press release, Berninger writes:
I found myself wasting a lot of time and energy worrying about all the threats to the world and to my kid’s rights. Finally, I just turned everything off and tried to chill. I started listening to a lot of old favorite records and re-reading books. All my energy and optimism came back and I started recording a lot. So many people I know are having this experience and doing their best work right now. Instead of watching everything being destroyed why not have fun and create things that can fight back. I’ve never been happier. Joy is an act of resistance. IDLES said that.
Watch the “Holes” video, directed by Chris Sgroi, below.
Buy the “Holes” 7″ here.